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AFC East Roundup: Offense and Defense Rookies of the Year

Which rookies stood out in the division.

The regular season may be over in the NFL with the New England Patriots being the only team from the AFC East still playing, but that doesn’t mean the AFC East Roundup is closed for the season. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be giving awards out to players in the division who performed the best over the course of the regular season. This week, we’re giving out the offensive and defensive rookie of the year awards for the division.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Sony Michel, New England Patriots

Michel was the clear favorite among rookies on offense for the division because of the impact he had with the team. Every year it seems the Patriots find a new and improved running back to carry the load and this year it was Michel. The rookie rushed for 931 yards in only 13 games and had six touchdowns. His best game of the season came against the New York Jets in Week 12 where he rushed for 133 yards. In a crowded backfield, Sony made the most of his opportunity and will be a vital piece for the team as they get set to make another big post-season run.

Honorable mention: Sam Darnold, New York Jets; Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills; Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills

The Bills first-round linebacker gets the nod here because he impacted the game in so many ways as the season went on. Edmunds has a freakish build at 6’5” and 250 pounds, and he’s only 20 years old. The first couple of game were difficult for Edmunds to adjust but after that he was all over the field with 121 combined tackles on the season—good for 13th in the entire league. He also had two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions, proving he can be an impact player in any phase of the game. He earned the Rookie Defensive Player of the Month award for December and his potential is through the roof.

Honorable mention: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins